Five Top Tips for Success as an Accounting and Finance Student

1. Go to all the lectures and seminars!

You may think this is a given but you’d be surprised how many people don’t prioritise attending their lectures. Lectures at Lancaster university for Accounting and Finance aren’t compulsory in the sense that a register isn’t taken and no one’s going to chase you if you don’t attend. However, it is important to attend lectures because it’s an opportunity for you to learn the content directly from the lecturer. Simply reading the lecture slides is not the same experience, the lecturers also tend to add additional slides. Lectures are also a chance to meet other students doing the same module that could possibly assist you with coursework or revision.

There really are no excuses to not attend seminars, even if they’re at 9 am! Seminars are compulsory, registers are taken and they are probably more important than lectures. You will be doing yourself a disservice by not attempting the questions before the seminars or tutorials, don’t just go to sign your name on the register alone. Actually doing the work will enable you to identify the areas you struggled with so you can ask at the tutorial and leave with a solution because the tutors don’t always have time to go through all the questions in detail.

2. Do your research, Accounting and Finance isn’t the same everywhere!

You will find yourself speaking to your friends also studying Accounting and Finance at a different university, and them telling you that they don’t do that certain module or don’t have that many exams. You should note that universities customise the degrees they provide, so although your degree might have the same name as someone studying Accounting and Finance at another university, you are likely to have very different experiences. Their universities may have different term times, teaching hours and assessment methods. You are also likely to be taught by lecturers that have different teaching styles, so you are probably better off seeking assistance from fellow Accounting and Finance student at Lancaster University.

3. Tailor your revision to what works for you

What works for someone else may not work for you. Try to find alternatives that suit you best. Although by now you have had many tests, coursework and exams so you may already know a revision method that works for you. However, it is ok if you don’t because different modules may require didn’t types of revision. Experiment with different methods to find your ideal one, whether its; flash cards for definitions, mind maps for each topic, writing notes from the text book or practising questions the most important thing is that it’s effective for your learning.

This can also go for note taking during lectures, most people take their laptop and type notes on a word document whilst viewing the lecture slides on PowerPoint. Some people prefer to print the lecture slides beforehand, annotate or make notes around them and highlight key things. Other people simply choose to write down notes on a note book the old traditional way. All methods have their advantages and disadvantages, once again it’s all about what is most convenient and effective for you.

4. “It is ok to struggle in the beginning; you’ll get it by week 8”

Don’t be fooled, yes it’s natural to struggle in the beginning because studying at university is very different to what you were accustomed to at sixth form or college and of course Accounting and Finance itself is a challenging subject. However, it is vital to tackle the problem immediately, as ignoring it will not make it go away. It’s normal to avoid things we don’t understand but it’s better to make efforts in understanding it then, than being

faced with having to learn it weeks before the exam when you should be revising what you have already learnt.

I would advice you keep up with weekly reading to increase your chances of understanding the lectures and tutorial questions. If you find yourself struggling with something don’t dismiss it with a I’ll do it later, attack it now! You may not have time to do it later as you’ll have other work to do and you may forget. You can ask your friends in the same module for help and there are many services available to help you such as MASH.

5. Build a relationship with your lecturers, seminar tutors and academic tutors.

They are there for a reason! I can’t stress enough how important it is to make use of the resources and opportunities available to you, you are not in this alone. For example, make it a point to know your lecturers and tutor’s office hours, use this time to go to them with any issues you may have on certain topics or on a particular assignment. You can even ask brief questions at the end of the lecture if there was something you didn’t get. Some lecturers might prefer emails or you attending their office hours as there might not be time at the end of the lecture, especially if your question requires a long explanation this might be more convenient.

If you’re naturally shy or are an introvert, you can see this as an opportunity to build your confidence. Don’t be intimidated by the lecturers, yes they are incredibly smart and experienced in their field of teaching but they are happy to help as they were also once students like you and completely understand what you’re going through.